A to Z Gaming: Kangaroo: The Jumping Game

We jumped our way across the board, trying to capture each other’s pieces in Kangaroo: The Jumping Game, the next game in our A-Z game shelf play-through.

Basic Info: Kangaroo: The Jumping Game
Players: 2
Time: 20 Minutes
Designers: John Flagg
Artists: John Flagg
Publisher: Great Games

Kangaroo is an abstract strategy game for two players where they move their pieces across the board by jumping, capturing their opponents pieces as they go. The goal is to have the fewest pieces captured and the most pieces on the opponents’ edge of the board.

The game is set up with each player’s pieces taking up the two rows of the board closest to them. On their turn, a player must jump one of their pieces another piece – either theirs or their opponent’s. They can jump as many times as they would like, in any direction (orthogonal or diagonal or any combination). If they jump over an opponent’s piece, they capture it, removing it from the board.

The game ends when one player resigns by giving the other player one of their pieces, one player loses all of their pawns, or no more jumps can be made by one player. If the games ends by one player’s inability to make any moves, the other player gets to take up to five more moves. Players then get points for each piece they have left on the board, with pieces in the opponent’s home row (the last row) giving them two points. The player with the most points wins.

This game has probably been in my collection the longest – my aunt Marly gave me this game when I was a kid. The box is copyright 1977 and 1978, so I assume it was 1978 that she gave it to me. I *know* I played this game as a kid, but I don’t remember what I thought about it.

It feels like an upgraded game of checkers, since your pieces get to go in any direction and jump anyone’s pieces. I suspect I liked it as such when I was a kid. Today, though, it’s not terribly engaging to me. But that shouldn’t be too surprising, given that I’m not a huge fan of abstract strategy games.

How is it as a 2-player game? Kangaroo: The Jumping Game works fine as a 2-player game – I mean, it only plays two players!

How about the art and component quality? The game board and pieces are all a good quality plastic. The pegs fit nicely into the board, though if you press too hard it can be a little bit challenging to get them out!

Will this stay in my collection? Even though this isn’t my favorite game, it will stay in my collection, at least for a while longer. It was probably the first game that was *mine,* and I’m not ready to give that up.

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